Jordan Henderson is keen for Liverpool to keep improving after winning the Club World Cup for the first time with a 1-0 victory over Flamengo in Doha.

Reds captain Henderson was in inspirational form as the Premier League leaders became world champions on Saturday, adding to their European crown from June courtesy of an extra-time Roberto Firmino strike.

Liverpool have become renowned for late goals under Jurgen Klopp, and it was no different on this occasion as Firmino netted in the 99th minute, having passed up big chances as early as 40 seconds in.

Henderson lauded his side, telling BBC Sport: "We have found a way for a long time now, some late goals.

"We just want to keep going, onto the next game, onto the next performance, keep improving. We keep our feet on the ground and keep working hard and keep putting in performances like that."

Assessing the final, in which Flamengo also threatened and should have equalised through substitute Lincoln, Henderson said: "It feels very good. It was an interesting game.

"I am sure it was interesting to watch, but we kept going, good performance and the mentality again shone through.

"We should have scored a couple more, but we defended really well. Overall, we're delighted with the result and the performance in difficult conditions.

"Fair play to the lads - they kept going right until the end and got the goal in extra time."

Roberto Firmino struck in extra time to claim a first Club World Cup title for European champions Liverpool as they beat Flamengo 1-0 in Doha on Saturday.

A tightly contested final should have been settled by Firmino long before the 99th minute, but the usually reliable forward twice missed the target when well placed.

Liverpool also had a last-gasp penalty award struck off in normal time following a VAR review, giving Flamengo - victors over the Reds in the 1981 Intercontinental Cup final - a lifeline.

However, the Premier League leaders dominated the additional period, and Firmino finally found the net to tee up yet more celebrations on Merseyside.

Liverpool scored inside two minutes of June's Champions League final, and Firmino should have put them in front after just 40 seconds on Saturday, lifting his finish over the crossbar after breaching the Flamengo back-line.

Naby Keita was similarly wasteful when Jordan Henderson freed Mohamed Salah to tee up the midfielder, before Trent Alexander-Arnold drilled wide in an extremely positive start for Jurgen Klopp's side.

After toiling for the remainder of the first half, Firmino again should have netted at the start of the second, brilliantly lifting the ball over Rodrigo Caio but slamming left-footed into the left-hand post.

Salah stabbed wide as another Liverpool flurry continued, yet Gabriel Barbosa then had two sights of goal in quick succession and tested compatriot Alisson with the second.

While Liverpool were dealt a blow as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hobbled off after landing awkwardly, Henderson almost stole victory with an 86th-minute curling try that was touched over by Diego Alves.

There was still room for late drama before extra time, as referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim initially awarded a stoppage-time spot-kick against Rafinha for a foul on Sadio Mane, only to then assess the incident on the pitchside monitor and reverse his decision.

It was a reprieve that lasted only nine minutes into extra time, when Henderson set clear Mane, who squared for the composed Firmino to sit down goalkeeper Alves and rifle into the net.

Salah was denied a swift second by Alves, and substitute Lincoln should have got Flamengo back on level terms in the 119th minute, instead blazing over in front of goal to ensure Klopp's side the title.

 

What does it mean? Christmas cheer for new world champions

Liverpool's wait for a domestic league title may have extended into a 30th year, but 2019 has been hugely successful for the club.

After holding Tottenham at bay in the Champions League final, their class eventually told against tricky foes Flamengo, too. Meanwhile, Leicester City lost at Manchester City, meaning Klopp's men will be 10 points clear at the Premier League summit at Christmas with a game in hand. The coming 12 months should be equally exciting for those of a red persuasion.

Heroic Henderson the man for the big occasion

Captain Henderson was an inspirational figure in the attritional Champions League triumph against Spurs, and he was key again in this final.

The England international was tireless in the middle of midfield but also showed his quality on the ball, playing some wonderful passes from deep - including one that led to the winner.

Controversial late call not costly for Reds

Firmino passed up glaring opportunities at the start of either half in normal time, but Liverpool undoubtedly would have focused their ire on the officials had they fallen short in the additional 30 minutes.

Replays suggested there was contact from Rafinha as Mane missed his kick and, while the foul looked to be just outside the area, meaning Al Jassim was right to overturn the penalty award, the defender surely should have been sent off with a finely poised free-kick given.

What's next?

After this manic week with three matches in five days on two continents, Liverpool return to Premier League action against second-placed Leicester City on Boxing Day. Flamengo's outstanding 2019 season is now over.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain appeared to suffer another injury blow as he hobbled out of Liverpool's Club World Cup final with Flamengo on Saturday.

The England international was out of action for almost a year after damaging multiple knee ligaments against Roma in the 2017-18 Champions League semi-finals.

Oxlade-Chamberlain missed much of last season as Liverpool became European champions and pushed Manchester City to the final day in the Premier League title race.

But the former Arsenal midfielder has been able to feature regularly this season, starting against Flamengo as the Reds sought to become world champions for the first time.

However, with the game still goalless with 15 minutes remaining, Oxlade-Chamberlain appeared to land awkwardly on his right ankle, beating the ground in pain.

A stretcher was called after brief treatment on the pitch, although Oxlade-Chamberlain was able to walk off to be replaced by Adam Lallana.

Virgil van Dijk will start for Liverpool in the Club World Cup final against Flamengo in Doha on Saturday.

The Netherlands star sat out the 2-1 semi-final win over Monterrey after falling ill, meaning Jordan Henderson started at centre-back alongside Joe Gomez.

Van Dijk returns for the match at Khalifa International Stadium, though, while Trent Alexander-Arnold also comes back into the starting line-up at right-back in place of James Milner.

Henderson moves into midfield, with Adam Lallana dropping to the bench, while Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane come in for Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri.

This will be the second competitive meeting between Liverpool and Flamengo, the Brazilians having won 3-0 in the previous meeting in the Inter-Continental Cup final in 1981.

Jurgen Klopp's side are aiming to win the FIFA tournament for the first time, having lost the 2005 final to Sao Paulo.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said winning the Club World Cup would be "like landing on the moon" as the Reds look to claim the competition for the first time.

Champions League holders Liverpool meet Copa Libertadores winners and Brazilian giants Flamengo in Saturday's Club World Cup final in Doha.

One of the most decorated clubs in football with 18 league titles and six European Cup/Champions League trophies, Liverpool have never won the Club World Cup.

Liverpool lost the Intercontinental Cup – pitting the Champions League winners against Libertadores holders – in 1981 (Flamengo) and 1984 (Independiente) before it merged with the Club World Cup in 2005. The Reds lost to Sao Paulo that year.

"I don't know how you approach something that has never been done before – it is like landing on the moon," Klopp told reporters.

"It means more to them [fans in South America] but to the players? No," Klopp added of his team, who lead the Premier League. "Did it mean more to Tottenham in the Champions League final? More to Chelsea [in the Super Cup final]?

"When our boys play football they show every time they want to win. Is it an advantage the whole country or continent wants Flamengo to win it more? I don't know. Mexico wanted to win it more than people in England and we beat their team, so we will see.

"For the players it is no problem. We spoke about it a few months ago and asked how did they want to play it? It wasn’t that they could decide but how do you see it? They said: 'We go!' Since then it's never changed. The boys are 100 per cent clear. They didn't need Ali [Alisson] telling them or Bobby [Firmino] telling them or Fabinho telling them about the importance. They are footballers, they are sportsmen and they want to win everything they can.

"It is how it sounds: the team world cup winner. You don't often get the chance to do so and for most of them, with the countries they play for, they never have a chance to win a World Cup so this is the only chance. For me as well. But who cares about me? I don't feel pressure but I feel a really big opportunity and I want to do it."

Flamengo coach Jorge Jesus says Liverpool have left a mark on world football ahead of Saturday's Club World Cup final between the sides in Qatar.

European champions Liverpool are 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League and have not been beaten in the competition since January 3.

But they needed a late Roberto Firmino goal to squeeze through a tight semi-final against Monterrey, while Jesus' side beat Al Hilal 3-1 to book their place in the final.

South America's representatives Flamengo secured their spot at the Club World Cup with a dramatic late comeback against River Plate in the final of the Copa Libertadores.

Benfica and Sporting CP boss Jesus feels there are similarities between Flamengo and Liverpool going into the Club World Cup final. 

"We can't easily compare two good teams," he told a news conference. "Yes, Liverpool have a distinct history, especially in recent years. 

"They've won many titles and they are one of the best clubs in the world. Jurgen Klopp has been with the team for many years and has accomplished a lot with them, not only in the English league. They won the European Champions League. 

"So, Liverpool have left their mark in world football. When we compare Liverpool and Flamengo, we know Flamengo are enjoying an excellent year, especially this season. 

"We won the Brazilian league title and the Copa Libertadores, so there are great similarities between Liverpool and Flamengo in terms of their international presence."

Flamengo winger Everton Ribeiro understands Liverpool will pose a tough challenge for his side but indicated Jesus has a plan to put in action against the Reds.

"We know Liverpool have very few weak points," Everton told reporters. 

"But, along with our coach, we created strategies to make our football work, based on what they will present to us. 

"I won't say much because this would be anticipating what we will do as a priority but we have our strategy and what we had to do is done.

"Now we'll put it to work on the field."

Jurgen Klopp expects to have to embark on a rebuilding process at Liverpool after extending his contract to 2024.

Klopp signed a contract renewal last week ahead of attempting to lead the Reds to Club World Cup glory in Qatar.

Saturday's final against Flamengo offers Liverpool the chance to secure the first of a possible five trophies this season, with Klopp's side – who won the UEFA Super Cup in August – 10 points clear in the Premier League and through to the last 16 of the Champions League, where they will face Atletico Madrid.

Liverpool do not have an old squad – Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and James Milner are their only regulars aged 30 or over – but Klopp feels freshening up his options will be vital in the years to come.

The signing of 24-year-old Salzburg forward Takumi Minamino ahead of the January transfer window indicated Liverpool will not be standing still in the market despite their strong position, and Klopp thinks it is only right he committed to that longer-term plan.

"We will see what we can achieve together in that time, but there will probably be a moment where we have to change things," Klopp told ESPN.

"Improve always, but to change things as well and I really thought it makes sense that I do that instead of another manager coming in and having to do this kind of not really thankful job and like rebuild or whatever and then say, 'oh but Klopp would have done different', stuff like this.

"This club became so important to me in a really short time. It's unbelievable, so I feel absolute responsible for probably too much, but nearly everything.

"That's what we try to show with that [contract] extension. We are ready to win whatever we can, but to make sure because there is always a time after me, after another manager, that the club is in the best possible position to carry on in the best possible way.

"At this moment, everyone in the club believes that we need the consolation of the relationship we have with each other, but that it really works out in the future as well. That's important.

"It's not reshaping, but Taki [Minamino] is for sure a player who can help us immediately in the short term and the long term, from an age perspective.

"He's already really good. Everyone could see when we played Salzburg. But still [there is] potential there to become even better.

"It's not a competition, it's just to have different options in different moments and the door is wide open that Taki can come in the team."

Liverpool exited the EFL Cup at the quarter-final stage this week, an inexperienced Reds side suffering a 5-0 defeat at Aston Villa with Klopp having taken his first-team squad to Qatar for the Club World Cup semi-final, which was played less than 24 hours later.

Having been irked by the fixture congestion, Klopp is also frustrated at the potential of an FA Cup fourth-round replay interrupting the Premier League's inaugural mid-season break, which is set for February.

"The problem that we have is the Premier League have decided we have a winter break and the [Football Association] decided the re-game [replay] if you have to play, if you draw in the fourth round, you play the re-game in that week," Klopp said.

"It's incredible. It's just in the winter break. Right? That's when they set the game. Okay, how is that possible? Nobody speaks about these things. I really don't understand that.

"The problem we have now is nobody speaks enough. We don't speak enough to each other so the Premier League, the Football League, the FA, UEFA, FIFA, everyone is planning their own things, and nobody follows that, so there is no common schedule for everybody.

"Look at that. They are the games, we can't do more games."

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson says playing in Saturday's Club World Cup final against Flamengo will be a "dream come true".

Champions League winners Liverpool face Copa Libertadores holders Flamengo in a blockbuster clash at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

The Reds are out to win the trophy for the first time, but Brazil international Alisson acknowledged sides hailing from his own country put greater importance on the competition.

Speaking at Friday's pre-match news conference, the ex-Internacional stopper said: "I still watch Brazilian football, especially my former club, and Flamengo are a joy to watch.

"I'm excited to be playing in the Club World Cup final - it is a dream come true. I was a young boy at 14 when I watched my club Internacional win it in 2006 as a fan.

"Now I'm here with this opportunity to win it with Liverpool.

"It's big for Brazilians, but I think it's bigger for the people playing in it. People on the outside don't give value to this competition because it's limited just for the winners."

Alisson produced a number of important saves in the 2-1 semi-final win against Monterrey, keeping Liverpool on course for a maiden triumph in the annual showpiece.

The 27-year-old, named the best goalkeeper in the world earlier this month, is keen to write his name in Anfield folklore by lifting the trophy this weekend.

"Flamengo won the Copa Libertadores and we won the Champions League while many other clubs won big competitions too and that's why we are here," he said.

"We are making this big for us, because this is important to put our name in the history of the club, that this is the first time ever that Liverpool will win it and we do our best."

Flamengo beat River Plate 2-1 in the Copa Libertadores final on November 23 and were crowned champions of their domestic league 24 hours later.

Alisson is expecting a difficult test, adding: "They have shown how good they are by winning the Brazilian league, which is difficult to win. It is a great competition and they play really good football.

"In their last game there were more than 10,000 Flamengo supporters, but this is not just big for them, it's big for us also. We want to win it and we will try to do our best on the pitch."

Jurgen Klopp is hoping to change the way the Club World Cup is viewed in Europe by leading Liverpool to victory over Flamengo in Saturday's final.

The Champions League holders beat Monterrey 2-1 on Wednesday through a late goal from substitute Roberto Firmino to set up a meeting with Copa Libertadores winners Flamengo.

Liverpool prioritised the semi-final with Monterrey over their EFL Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa the day before, which saw an inexperienced Reds side - the youngest in their history - thrashed 5-0.

Speaking ahead of the Club World Cup final, Klopp pointed out that Liverpool's preparations have been markedly different to Flamengo's due to a fixture pile-up.

"The situation is different for us as it is for Flamengo," he said at Friday's pre-match news conference. "They came here with a clear order to win it and come back home as heroes. We got told to stay at home and play in the EFL Cup.

"But we are here and my team wants to win this competition. The view in Europe of the Club World Cup is different to the view in the rest of the world but we want to change that. 

"Liverpool fans want us to win - most of the other fans don't really care. But we saw what it means to Monterrey by how much they invested to win on Wednesday and it will be the same with Flamengo."

Saturday's clash with be Klopp's first against a Brazilian side in his 18-year coaching career and will also mark the first time he has faced Jorge Jesus.

Klopp has been impressed by Jesus' work since he took charge of Flamengo in June and is anticipating a difficult match at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar.

"This is the first time that I have faced a Brazilian team but this is also the first time Flamengo have played a team like Liverpool," he said.

"I know what we have to expect. Flamengo will be intense and organised. Jorge Jesus has changed their fortunes.

"He has brought players in to the defence, he has a settled line-up, a team where everybody knows what they have to do. He was a successful coach at Benfica and at Sporting.

"He's a character and is famous for being organised. He could go to a European club if he wanted but maybe Rio is such a nice place he wants to stay there."

Virgil van Dijk missed the victory over Monterrey through illness and Georginio Wijnaldum was sidelined with a muscle injury.

However, both players took part in training on Friday and Klopp will continue to monitor their fitness.

"Virgil was part of training today and Gini had a session," he said. "We will see how it looks at the end.

"We have no new concerns. We will use each hour for recovery and we will see who we can line up tomorrow [Saturday]."

Virgil van Dijk provided Liverpool with a potential boost ahead of their Club World Cup final against Flamengo by training on Friday.

The defender, who has played every minute of the Reds' Premier League campaign, felt ill the day before the semi-final against Monterrey and was absent as the Reds recorded a 2-1 victory.

With Joe Gomez the only other senior centre-back in the squad, Jordan Henderson partnered his fellow England international in the heart of defence.

Boss Jurgen Klopp said after the game he had "no clue" whether Van Dijk would be back for Saturday's final in Doha.

However, the Dutchman was out training with his Liverpool colleagues on Friday in the portion of the session open to the media.

Flamengo are the reigning Brazilian league champions, the Copa Libertadores winners, and on Saturday they will attempt to add the Club World Cup to their accolades.

Standing in the way of the team bossed by Jorge Jesus are Liverpool, who won the Champions League in June and are packed with superstar performers.

When it comes to the biggest names in the game, Flamengo cannot compete with the team they will battle for the global crown.

However, they possess plenty of quality in their ranks, and notably have a host of players who have returned to South America after stints in Europe.

Here is a look at five of their key players ahead of the clash with Jurgen Klopp's team.

Diego Alves (goalkeeper, 34 years old)

Regular watchers of Spanish league football will remember Alves from his Almeria and Valencia days. He spent four seasons with Almeria and six years at Mestalla before leaving Spain in 2017.

Alves is best known for his expertise in saving penalties, keeping out almost 50 per cent of the spot-kicks he faced while in Spain, including efforts from Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Liverpool will not want to give him the chance to be a shoot-out hero.

 

Pablo Mari (defender, 26 years old)

If the stars had aligned slightly differently, Spanish centre-back Mari might have been the man tasked with solving the Manchester City defensive crisis that has been the reigning Premier League champions' downfall this season.

In theory he was a City player for three years, but Mari never appeared in a competitive game for the club, spending season-long loans with Girona, NAC Breda and Deportivo La Coruna before being offloaded by Pep Guardiola in July.

Five months down the line and he gets the chance to face Premier League opposition in the shape of City's great rivals.

 

Giorgian De Arrascaeta (midfielder, 25 years old)

Uruguayan De Arrascaeta played just a fleeting role in his national team's run to the World Cup quarter-finals last year, since when he has switched from Cruzeiro to Flamengo and gone from strength to strength.

Goalscoring midfielders can be priceless and De Arrascaeta is a persistent threat going forward. Like fellow Flamengo midfielders Willian Arao and Gerson, he was named in the Brazilian league's team of the year, receiving a Bola de Prata (silver ball) for the achievement.

De Arrascaeta's goal early in the second half kickstarted Flamengo's fightback against Al Hilal in the Club World Cup semi-finals, and Liverpool will need to curb his forward runs.

 

Bruno Henrique (forward, 28 years old)

Bruno Henrique's spell in Europe was short and not so sweet. He spent a year - January 2016 to January 2017 - at Wolfsburg, where he played in a Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid, helping the Germans win at home before going out after a Santiago Bernabeu defeat.

Santos called and Bruno Henrique answered, before 18 months later he was prised away by Flamengo. The 28-year-old has played the best football of his career under Jesus, showing rampant scoring form alongside Gabriel Barbosa and earning a Brazil call-up.

Two Brazilian league hat-tricks since the start of November, and a starring goalscoring role against Al Hilal, point to his threat.

 

Gabriel Barbosa (forward, 23 years old)

AKA Gabigol. Gabriel earned his nickname as a child hot-shot but has justified it throughout his professional career, save for a disappointing year at Inter.

Technically Gabriel still belongs to the Nerazzurri, given he signed a five-year contract when arriving in 2016, but he has seen very little of San Siro in recent times.

After year-long loans at Benfica and Santos, where he also began his career, Gabriel joined Flamengo in January of this year and his temporary move is due to run to the end of this year.

His two late goals against River Plate last month dramatically gave Flamengo the Copa Libertadores title, and he won Brazil's Bola de Ouro (Golden Ball) award earlier this month.

Adam Lallana said Liverpool are addicted to winning trophies as the Champions League holders look to add the Club World Cup to their collection.

Liverpool face Copa Libertadores champions and Brazilian giants Flamengo in Saturday's Club World Cup final in Doha.

It is another chance for Premier League leaders Liverpool – who are on track to claim their first league title since 1990 – to celebrate silverware under Jurgen Klopp, having won the Champions League and UEFA Super Cup this year.

Liverpool attacker Lallana said: "It's massive. We are European champions and to be world club champions as well – there's not many people who can say that.

"We are going to give it our all. It's like an addiction: you win one medal and you want to win another. You want to win more."

Liverpool booked their spot in the Club World Cup decider after edging Monterrey 2-1 thanks to Roberto Firmino's last-gasp winner.

Flamengo, who beat River Plate in the Libertadores final, overcame 10-man Al Hilal 3-1 in the semi-finals.

"It will be a very tough game," Lallana said. "I'm sure Bobby [Firmino] and Alisson will give us some inside info into them.

"We watched them the other day. They were very dynamic, very aggressive, physical, and we will have to recover quickly. Another trophy is up for grabs so bring it on. It's all about recovery now.

"It's a good job it didn't go to extra time. We will get in the ice baths, get the massages and all guns blazing for Saturday."

Flamengo have every chance of beating Champions League winners Liverpool in the Club World Cup final, according to ex-Brazil internationals Julio Cesar and Bebeto.

Copa Libertadores champions Flamengo came from behind to beat Al Hilal 3-1 in their semi-final clash on Tuesday, while Liverpool edged past Monterrey 2-1 thanks to Roberto Firmino's late effort.

Jorge Jesus' Flamengo stunned River Plate in November's Copa Libertadores decider, with Gabriel Barbosa's last-gasp double securing glory.

Former Brazil and Inter goalkeeper Cesar started and ended his senior career with Flamengo, and he believes his old side can cause another upset in Saturday's final in Doha.

"Flamengo have the opportunity [of winning the championship]. They're very confident and will face Liverpool, a great team, as we know," Cesar told reporters.

"But Flamengo have all conditions of winning this game. Flamengo showed excellent football this year.

"With Jorge Jesus' arrival, the players could quickly understand his philosophy and methodology and this made Flamengo winner of two competitions, the Brazilian Championship and Libertadores. Flamengo is going to this final full of confidence."

Another former Flamengo and Brazil player - Bebeto - echoed Cesar's sentiment, insisting the club will have the entire country behind them.

"I have to keep my heart strong, it's such a joy to see Flamengo, after 38 years, in the fight for their second world title," he said.

"I want that everything can go well and that we can win this title, that's so important. Not only for Flamengo fans but for all Brazilians.

"Flamengo is playing very well, they will fight for this title, it will be a tough game, we all know this. Liverpool is a great team, they are Champions League winners and we are Libertadores winners and also winners at Brazil Championship.

"So, let's go, we have to believe, always."

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is displaying a similar level of quality to Lionel Messi, according to former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Salah has won the Premier League's Golden Boot award for the past two seasons - although he shared it with club team-mate Sadio Mane and Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in 2018-19 - and the 27-year-old already has 13 goals to his name in all competitions this season.

The former Roma forward has also provided seven assists, a tally which includes teeing up Naby Keita's opening goal in Liverpool's 2-1 win over Monterrey in the Club World Cup semi-finals on Wednesday.

With the Egyptian stepping into a playmaker role as well as being an unerringly accurate finisher, Wenger believes Salah is now showing flashes of play on the same level as Barcelona superstar and 2019 Ballon d'Or winner Messi.

"I like his evolution," Wenger told beIN Sports. "Because he had touches [against Monterrey] of a playmaker.

"He created chances around the box that are exceptional, there were shades of Messi in him and I like that a guy who can score so many goals also becomes the guy who gives assists.

"That is a complete player. That's what we all admire and what we want from our players."

Wenger was speaking in a joint interview with Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp, who echoed the Frenchman's sentiment.

"Very good, very good experiences [with Salah] but the most positive was on the training ground – sensationally good," Klopp said. "On the pitch he's great, really, really good."

Liverpool take on Copa Libertadores champions Flamengo in the Club World Cup final on Saturday.

Liverpool's Sadio Mane deserved to win this year's Ballon d'Or, according to former Manchester City and Barcelona star Yaya Toure.

Lionel Messi scooped a record sixth Ballon d'Or earlier in December, edging out Mane's club-mate Virgil van Dijk.

However, Toure believes Mane - who scored 26 goals in all competitions last term as Liverpool finished second in the Premier League and won the Champions League - should have claimed the prize.

"To be honest he deserved to win the Ballon d'Or. In Africa we don't see any better players than him," Toure told reporters in Doha, where he is a guest of FIFA at the Club World Cup.

"Did you see the votes, did you see what he did in the last year, how many goals he scored, what he achieved with Liverpool?

"For me it is a shame when a team wins this trophy (the Champions League) and the winner of the Ballon d'Or is not coming from there."

Liverpool currently hold a 10-point advantage over Leicester City at the top of the Premier League and are 14 points clear of third-place Manchester City, and Toure acknowledged the Reds - who are unbeaten in the league - would be worthy champions.

"Liverpool are great, they are doing very well and they deserve their position at the moment," he said.

"There is a long way to go but Liverpool are a good side and they look much stronger than last year. The way I see City is their form this year has been quite complicated but, 10 points in front, Liverpool have a good, good chance.

"When you see the league today there are a few teams who are quite disappointing, like Arsenal and a couple of others, but Liverpool have the chance to have the honours this year."

Having overcome Monterrey 2-1 on Wednesday, Liverpool face Flamengo on Saturday in the Club World Cup final.

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